The news from the last few weeks of impeachment inquiry and the Inspector General’s report both raise an important question. Who will guard the guardians? That was a question first asked by a Roman poet, and it is relevant today.
James Madison makes a similar statement in Federalist Paper #51. “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
Our government leaders are supposed to control the governed, but who is controlling them? Of course, we have checks and balances. But government works much better when we have moral people, but many of our government leaders have failed us.
We discover that an FBI lawyer altered an email in order to make it easier for the FBI to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on a Trump campaign official. We are informed that there were 17 failures or “significant inaccuracies” in securing that warrant and that evidence that would have prevented the warrant was withheld.
The former FBI Director was fired, in part because he leaked his own memos of private and confidential conversations with the president. Others in the leadership at the FBI may be brought up on charges because of their leaking.
Recently I interviewed the head of a conservative organization that discovered that someone at the IRS had listed them as closing down, thus harming their ability to raise funds. It reminded me of how the IRS in the past was found to be targeting any group that had the words “tea party” in their title. All of this was supposed to be merely clerical error. But as I said in a past column, that explanation would be easier to accept if it ever happened to a progressive group.
The question from two millennia is still relevant today. Who will guard the guardians?